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CAR SAFETY

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association's crash tests on 1992 models are in; 39 of the 48 cars tested passed with flying colors.

Six models had unacceptable scores for driver head injuries. They were the Chevrolet Lumina, Mitsubishi Galant, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Tercel and Corolla and Volkswagen Passat.Cars that had unacceptable scores for passenger head injuries were the Buick Century, Chevrolet Caprice and Saturn SL2.

Cars made by U.S. manufacturers had the best cumulative average score.

The organization began its crash tests in 1979. Since then, head-injury scores have been dropping. The average cumulative head-injury score for American cars this year was 906. For European-made cars that score was 1,290. For Japanese-made autos that score was 1,006.

For a copy of the test scores call 800-424-9393.

Front-end design is important to auto safety. The front end should crush slowly to absorb the energy of the crash.